How to Get Twitter Influencers to Notice You

How to get Twitter influencers to notice you- #TwitterSmarter chat with Heather Heuman - May 14, 2020

Not that long ago, influencer marketing became the new buzzword for all marketers. Whether on social media, traditional media, or on offline channels, everyone wanted to leverage the influence that popular people held over their audience. If you think about it, the concept isn’t new. For example, when our parents wanted us to do something, they’d get our grandparents or the fun aunt to cajole us—because they were more likeable. Though influencer marketing is a lot similar, it’s had far too many people confused and unsuccessful.

That’s why we asked social media strategist and author of The Golden Rules of Social Media Marketing, Heather Heuman, to help us learn how we can engage with influencers better.

Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Heather Heuman
Topic: How to Get Twitter Influencers to Notice You
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: How do you identify a Twitter influencer?

An influencer, as Felix said, is someone who’s always engaging with their audience. Their primary focus is to educate their following, offer assistance, and be a friend that everyone looks up to for help and inspiration.

Our guest also echoed the same message. For someone to generate any influence on others, they should show up consistently, offer authentic and genuine content, and be reliable. So if they share others’ content, that would also come from a highly reputable source that you can trust.

All things said, the main characteristic of an influencer is that they are always there for their community. They engage and respond as soon as they can—and not days or weeks later.

Q2: Share some tips for engaging with Twitter influencers.

The one thing everyone on Twitter gets excited about is retweets. Influencers aren’t any different. Show them how much you appreciate their content by retweeting, liking, or tagging them when you share their work. Not only is it necessary to credit your sources properly, but it’s also a great way to make a connection and initiate conversations with influencers.

And if you want to take it a notch further, create a Twitter List and add them to it. No matter how popular someone is, it’s always a thrill for them to know that someone else has added them to their list. What’s more, like our guest suggested, give your list a memorable and catchy name and it’s sure to become a hit.

One of the most important things to remember when engaging with influencers is that they’re as human as you are. Like Gene pointed out, you don’t have to treat them any differently than you would others. Share their work, just as you would a colleague’s. Show appreciation and credit where worthy. Don’t get nervous either. Play cool.

And of course, as Chris pointed out, be real. Don’t try to ride on someone’s influence. That’s not nice. When engaging with an influencer, be genuinely interested in them and their work—focus on building a human-to-human relationship.

Q3: How do you make your profile standout to influencers?

One of the easiest ways to capture an influencer’s attention is to have a complete bio. Imagine this: when you consistently engage with their content—by retweeting, replying, or sharing their work—an influencer will look you up. That’s why your bio needs to be attractive to them. And to achieve that, make sure that your bio speaks your personality and outlines who you are as a person. If that idea feels overwhelming, think about the one thing you want to be known for, and then put that on your bio.

Once you’ve got the basic who-you-are point across, include additional facts about you that’ll help boost your credibility. As our guest said, this could be media coverage, publications, third-party references, and anything else that can elevate your profile.

Masooma also added the importance of having a proper profile picture and a good background image that resonates with you. For example, if you’re running a business, showcase that on your header. You could also pin one of your highlight tweets that says more about you and what you offer.

Q4: What makes an influencer want to work with you?

Think of it this way: if money were out of the equation, what would make you work with someone?

They should be reliable, likeable, and most importantly, share your values. You two should have a rapport to work together. That’s the same way an influencer chooses to work with you. Just make sure you communicate yourself as clearly as possible. If you match their expectations, then it’s a great partnership.

It’s also important to remember that influencers won’t work with you if they don’t get anything in return. When it comes to social media, nothing is more valuable than an engaged audience. As Christine reminded us, make sure that the influencer you’re hoping to work with has some connection with your audience as well. After all, if your follower-base isn’t valuable to them, they won’t choose to work with you.

Deb, from Agorapulse, gave us a corporate perspective on this question. She said that influencers want to work with Agorapulse because the company is reputable, has an engaged audience, and is loved for its great customer service. And so when an influencer endorses Agorapulse, it also shows them in a good light. Win-win!

If you’re a business owner or a marketer handling a brand page, aim for that sweet spot where people like you so much that they want to promote you.

And of course, as with all collaborations, keep in mind that it’s a two-way street. By vouching for your brand or service, an influencer is potentially risking their own reputation. If you mess up in any way, you also bring them down with you. Be cautious and willing to take that responsibility.

Q5: Are Twitter influencers the same as other social media influencers?

One of the strange and unique things about Twitter is that its most active users are business-oriented. Whether they’re online analysts, entrepreneurs, or larger religious and social organizations, ultimately, everyone’s focused on marketing their brand.

All social media encourage you to share, learn, and have fun, but all within the limits of the platform’s rules. If you’re looking to expand your network across platforms, you should always familiarize yourself with that platform’s culture, tone, and usage before jumping in.

Doug from Frameable Faces made an excellent observation. Every social channel is fundamentally different. No two audiences are the same because each platform attracts different demographics. TikTok is an ideal example. Though the platform has its influencers, they don’t work the same way as the influencers on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Q6: Should you hire a Twitter influencer to help promote your brand?

That depends on why you want to hire an influencer and whether you can afford to do so.

If you’re looking for a long-term partnership, then it’s worthwhile for you to work with influencers. Otherwise, if you’re hoping just to momentarily boost your reach by asking them to share some of your content, you won’t get far.

If you do hire an influencer, though, make sure you have a plan. Influencers don’t always create their own endorsements. As our friend Paul said, if you’re asking an influencer to help build your brand, then give them a strategy and work with them to perfect it.

Q7: Can you get an influencer to promote your brand without paying them for it?

Absolutely. They’re called fans. This is why it’s important to focus on building a good product or strengthening your service. That way, the better your offering, the more fans you gain. And the more fans you engage with on a regular basis, the more you attract influencers’ attention. Who’s to say, your biggest fan could even have a large following that they’ll happily introduce you to.

The best part is that super fans and influencers you’ve built relationships with can even become your mentors later on. There’s so much you can learn by reaching out to people and making genuine connections.

As Lance also pointed out, to get an influencer to promote your brand, they should care for your brand. There’s no place for money and negotiation when someone sincerely enjoys using your product or gains benefit from your service. As we saw with the Agorapulse example on Q4, as long as people love your brand, they’ll promote your brand.

Q8: Share some major mistakes people make when engaging with influencers.

Biggest mistake: sending someone a direct message asking them to work with you, without giving them context or a good reason. Doing that shows that you don’t respect the influencer and their right to be on social media. Start a conversation, not a negotiation.

Another common mistake people make, according to our guest, is being selfish. Sure, you’re contacting an influencer to ask them to work with you. However, you’re also asking for their help. Treat them with the respect they deserve. If they decline, it’s your loss—not theirs. Keep that in mind when you approach an influencer.

Another big mistake is not knowing an influencer properly before interacting with them. Do your research first. As Umesh rightly said, don’t reach out to someone without knowing which industry they belong to or who their target audience is. It’s just as bad as tagging someone on a tweet or post that’s got nothing to do with their personal interests or goals.

Vraj shared a big list of mistakes that people often make. One of his points was not giving the influencer enough freedom to come up with their own content. This is an important one. As I said earlier, you should give an influencer a proper strategy. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be open to modifications. A good influencer marketing strategy is collaborative.

Well, folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks a lot for reading, and for more insights from our chat, check out this Twitter Moment that Joana created. Have some time on Thursday? Come join us for the next #TwitterSmarter chat at 1pm ET.


About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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